Bluebird Down

The pursuit of domestic bliss, one glorious debacle at a time.

My Fake Date with a Hockey Player February 28, 2012

Filed under: NHL,Road Trip — Teri @ 9:07 pm

I was reminded last night that February wasn’t all bad. There were a few ridiculous, hilarious moments that poked through the haze of daily life.

 

Nope, that's not him.

 

My favorite February moment was my fake date with a hockey player. OK, it wasn’t my date — and, ok, it wasn’t a date at all, but remember I am fragile and work with me. Our local minor league hockey team ran an auction to win dinner with a player. It wasn’t cheap. Your car payment is probably more than their monthly paychecks, so the winner had to buy the player’s steak dinner. And you don’t get to keep the player at the end of the night [rip off!], but you do get two glorious hours to interrogate him on all things hockey. [Squee!] I bid on a player under the guise that it would be an excellent practice date for P, who was due after a lengthy divorce. [And secretly I really wanted to break bread with a full-blooded Canadian.] When the auction made a 6’3″, 220 lb professional hockey player suddenly available, it clearly meant my plan was endorsed by God. I told P that I placed a bid in her honor. She panicked, then recovered her senses in time to ask for an additional bid on the player with the sketchiest reputation. And while I’m quite sure said sketchy player came with a bonus supply of penicillin, I told her we were sticking with my original pick. I mean, pace yourself, Woman.

 

Nope, that's not him either.

 

P and I were both deathly ill the night of the big date. [Did I forget to mention that I’m chaperoning?] My head was stuffed with kindergarten paste and I hadn’t had color in my cheeks in weeks. P was wearing twelve layers of makeup and weird sounds kept escaping from her throat. Just to dial things up a notch, I decided to see what really does happen when you mix Magic Cough Syrup with Blue Moon beer. [Answer: You say just a little too much about your inner most hockey secrets.] We walked into the banquet room of our local old money steak house and were directed to the only player sitting alone at his table. See, the auction was actually for season ticket holders, but no one told me that when I bid. Essentially everyone in the room knew each other — except for the random girls that just walked through the door. Freakin’ details. Get you every time.

 

Cha. You wish.

 

Take notice, NHL teams, this chick can pick an awesome hockey player. First of all, he was incredibly, insanely nice. Secondly, he was handsome. We’re talking NHL good looking. Like Pittsburgh Penguins good looking. [Stop. You know they are the best looking team in the NHL.] We chatted nonstop. We wanted to know all about Canada. It’s a lot like here. [Bummer.] We wanted to know about hockey fights. Typical southern hockey fans. We wanted to know who he knows in the NHL. He used to work out with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning during summer breaks. We told him about our monthly hockey road trips. He was worried about our chances in Philly. [But I suspect secretly thought we were awesome.] We mentioned the hockey blogs we read. What?! Hockey blogs? Hilarious. We asked what he wanted to do after hockey. Fireman. [Awww.] He told us about playing hockey in Europe. We talked about traveling. Has he ever been to Austria? Yes. Definitely go. It was like we were trying to shove a filming of NHL36 into a two hour dinner. The only question he really had for us was: So why did you pick me? We froze. Did I tell the truth? Was I really going to look him in the eye and say, “Uh, cause you are, like, hot and you had the best Movember stache on the entire team.” Noooo, I was not! After dodging the question twice, I lamely muttered, “Seemed like a good idea.” He gave a little Canadian smirk and went back to debating goalies with P.

Amazing night. Call me, NHL. I know what I’m doing.

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Runners to the Starting Line! January 10, 2012

Filed under: 5K,Exercise Follies,Penguins,Road Trip — Teri @ 7:16 pm

That's right.

I’ve been out of commission for the past three days, but couch time is a good time to research and organize your race schedule for the coming year. I’m going to do a mix of 5Ks and 10Ks this year. If I can successfully get through this year, I *may* work my way up to a half marathon. I like the idea of doing the Rock ‘n Roll Half in a major city or the Flying Pirate Half in Nags Head. I have absolutely, positively no desire to do a full marathon. Running is not easy for me. I don’t have the willowy limbs of a natural runner. But that doesn’t mean I can’t put some effort into it and accomplish a few miles. I just don’t want to accomplish 26.2 miles at one time.

Preach it.

2012 Race Schedule
March 3 – Saint Patty’s Run Green 8K, Raleigh, NC
March 31 – USO of NC 4th Annual Run for the Troops 5K, Fayetteville, NC -or- Cooper River Bridge Run 10K in Charleston, SC
May 5 – 11th Annual Cinco de Mayo 10K, Fayetteville, NC
June 2 – 5th Annual Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation Run for the Legend 10K, Fayetteville, NC
TBD – Hot Chocolate 5K, Chicago or DC

Despite being born and raised in the muggy south, I hate hot, humid days. I will not be running outside during July and August. I’ll run with limited enthusiasm in September. Give me a freezing cold race in the depth of winter any day.

I’m going to cut down on travel time this year too. Traveling to a race in the pre-dawn hours was more stressful than I thought it would be. If I can’t stay overnight near the race, I’m skipping it.

Fall races that I’ll repeat:
Moonlight Madness 5K, Winston-Salem, NC
Women’s Only 5K, Greensboro, NC
Ardmore 5K, Winston-Salem, NC
Trick or Treat Trot 5K, Wilmington, NC
Reading Rocks! 5K, Fayetteville, NC
Monster Dash 5K, Raleigh, NC
Joint Special Operations 5K, Fayetteville, NC
Turkey Strut 5K, Winston-Salem, NC
Mistletoe Run 5K, Winston-Salem, NC
Ryan’s Reindeer Run 5K, Fayetteville, NC

We have the same running form.

I tried to find races that coincided with The Official 2012 Pens Stalking Tour. No dice. I hoped participating in an organized race would keep me from chasing the team bus. If you know of a race, let me know. I’ll pay your entry fee with my unused bail money.

Tampa, Florida for the weekend of January 14-16
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the weekend of February 17-18
Newark, New Jersey for St. Patrick’s Day weekend {Really? No beer runs have been organized?!}
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Easter weekend

 

Lessons Learned January 9, 2012

Filed under: 30 Day Challenge,5K,Food — Teri @ 6:47 pm

You, too?

I went to bed last night and woke up this morning feeling less than awesome. I’ve spent the day intermittently sleeping on the couch and watching bad movies. [Have you seen Sandra Bullock’s Premonition? Don’t do it.] But all of the down time has given me the chance to reflect on my food journal.

I’ve been keeping up with my food journal even though I haven’t posted it. I was distracted for a few days by a friend’s crisis and then took a while to get back on track. As I was taught in social work school, it didn’t happen if it wasn’t documented and evaluated, so here is what I’ve learned so far.

Things I’ve Learned From My Food Journal:

1. This isn’t a shocker: I drink my calories. I know, it’s one of the first things that nutritionists, dieters, and overall fitness know-it-alls will tell you to not do. And I do it all the time. So instead of starting the day with a sugary drink (I do.), I’m moving it to the end of the day as a reward. After I drink 64 ounces of water, after my post-workout chocolate milk and after two cups of green tea, I can have a Coke. My guess is that by the time I can have the Coke, I’ll be too waterlogged to want it. Drinking Coke is my not-so secret shame. I know it’s awful for me. I know that Coca-Cola is a socially irresponsible company (and I’m usually all about using my consumer power to destroy corrupt corporations). In this case, I just don’t care. {Wait, is that the very essence of addiction?!} All of my friends tell me to drink Diet Coke. I tell them Diet Coke is disgusting, they shrug (but don’t disagree) and life goes on. It occurred to me that I need to regard Coke as I do champagne. I love champagne, but I only drink it two or three times a year. If I applied that strategy to Coke, I would have to truly tiny tush.

2. The photo journal was great because I’m a visual learner. I learned that all of my meals needed to be scaled back by about half. That was an easy, practical adjustment to make.

3. I love vegetables and I was surprised to see a lack of veggies in my journal photos. Luckily, this is another easy fix. I’ve already doubled my fresh veggie consumption.

4. I have a “I need to eat” rather than a “I’m hungry” mentality. I’m a schedule girl. I feel the need to eat based on what time it is. Rarely does my stomach growl. I could do that when I was younger. I don’t need to do it now that I’m 40.

5. I am surrounded by people who love me and accept me as I am. I’m thankful. But it does make it difficult to stick to an eating plan when you are the only one on it. Especially when you are the only one struggling to lose weight. We (family and friends alike) view a meal as celebration, as comfort, as a social activity. I don’t want to replace my loving, fun, happy eaters with neurotic calorie counters though. I need encouragement without condemnation… and world peace.

So now I know what I know. Time for less thinking, more action. My 2012 race schedule posts tomorrow. I can already see you on the edge of your seats in anticipation.

“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action.” Jim Rohn

 

Feeding Time January 4, 2012

Filed under: 30 Day Challenge,Cooking,Food — Teri @ 6:54 pm

Oh my. It’s only Day 3 and I’m already starting to lose interest in my photo food journal. The first problem is that I have the attention span of a mouse on speed. The second problem is that my food is boring — at least in two out of three cases. I sense a challenge within a challenge coming. I gotta shake things up. Spice them up, if you will. But it will have to be next week, because this week’s meals are planned and the food is in the fridge. All dinner recipes, by the way, are brought to you by the January/February issue of Cooking Light. Brace yourself for the coming month. There is a lot of chicken and rice at dinnertime.

Today’s damage: I actually logged my food into Weight Watchers tonight. I racked up 37 points. Whoops. That’s 11 over my daily limit. Looks like I’ll need to get creative and cut back. Mercy.

 

Breakfast: Yes, again. Fiber is your friend.

 

Mid-morning snack while talking to a friend about how we want to be runners with a capital R.

 

Leftover from Panera for lunch -- with Miracle Whip Light and pepper added.

 

A tall non-fat hot chocolate with no whip before my afternoon meeting.

 

A before dinner apple.

 

Dinner: Sausage, Spinach & Mushroom Risotto. I think it would be good even without sausage, but Z thought that was crazy talk.

 

Sausage and Spinach Risotto

  • 3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 5 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (about 2 links)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Romano cheese

Preparation

  1. 1. Bring broth and 1 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil); keep warm over low heat.
  2. 2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add salt and mushrooms to pan; cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove mushrooms from pan, and set aside.
  3. 3. Add sausage to pan, and cook for 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add shallots and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add rice; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, and cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  4. 4. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture; cook for 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Remove pan from heat. Add mushrooms and spinach; stir until spinach wilts. Top evenly with cheese. Serve immediately.

Can we talk about feeding the mind for a minute? Work is seriously cutting into my reading time.

 

I've owned this book for about 15 years. Every year I say I'm going to read each of the 365 daily essays. I think one year I made it all the way to January 21. And this year I'm already three days behind.

 

I have very good intentions of reading this book. I've read the same 78 pages about three times now.

 

And what am I ditching all of the self help reading for? Scandal! Chapter 9 of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

 

Thoughts or suggestions on anything I’m disgusting in my belly or my head?

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Points January 3, 2012

Filed under: 30 Day Challenge,Food — Teri @ 7:28 pm

OK, I realize this photo food journal probably isn’t exciting for the few folks that read my blog (Hey y’all!), but I definitely think it will keep me on a path toward healthy eating. I have a membership to Weight Watchers, but I keep secrets from the PointsTracker. I haven’t quite flipped the switch in my head, if you know what I mean. But hang with me, once I’m all cute and fit, I’ll have some tales to tell.

 

Breakfast was two packets for 300 calories. Much better photo than yesterday, yes?

 

Leftover chicken, broccoli and rice casserole with a side of carrots for lunch.

 

Afternoon snack of Greek yogurt.

 

Handful of almonds before the gym.

 

Chocolate milk after the gym and an apple after dinner.

 

Takeout from Panera for dinner: Half of a Smoked Turkey on Country with a side of (kinda pitiful) chicken noodle soup.

 

Observations: I need to up the veggie intake. I’m thinking of instituting a vegan day into our weekly menu. We already have a vegetarian day — Meatless Monday, which is sometimes on Thursday. Regardless, I need more vegetables on a daily basis, that much is clear. Today’s good news is that I slept through last night without freaky dreams and I wasn’t as hungry today. Hey, do you think hunger and freaky dreams are connected? I say yes. I’ll need a nighttime snack.

 

Second Verse Same As The First January 2, 2012

Filed under: 5K,Cooking,Exercise Follies,Food,Recipes,Training Log — Teri @ 7:01 pm

Ah, it’s a new year with new possibilities and new hopes and new resolutions. I’m a resolution maker. I’m so fond of making and breaking them that I even make them on my birthday and relatively minor life events, like going back to school after summer break. It’s the Six Million Dollar Man complex.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.

It could happen — even by way of my oft-repeated, super generic Eat Less/Move More resolution. [When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you learn to just make one master resolution.] I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not greeting this resolution with much enthusiasm and it’s because of one horrific realization I had today. I haven’t exercised with any consistency since Thanksgiving. That’s November 24, 2011 and that was almost SIX WEEKS AGO. Holy crikey. Sure, there was an occasional weekend run, but there is only so much lipstick we can put on that pig. And speaking of pigs, if I could have dipped bacon in chocolate and eaten it over Christmas break, I totally would have.

So here’s the deal: I’m doing a photo food journal, as suggested by Amanda at Run to the Finish. It’s a 30 Day Challenge. I like the idea of just snapping a photo with my iPhone and getting on with the eating. And you just can’t embellish the details when there is photographic evidence. That was a carrot! No, it was a Cheeto. {Is there actually a singular form for Cheetos?} Posting the food journal will keep me accountable. I was tweeting today’s photos, but that seemed like overkill to tweet every time I ate something. So I’ll do a daily summary blog. That means I’m blogging every day for January, whether you would like to know what I’m eating or not. I’ll try to come up with something clever to say on occasion.

 

Breakfast: Oatmeal that tasted way better than it looked.

 

Mid-morning Snack: 15 Almonds

 

Lunch: Dried Apricots, Carrots and a Peanut Butter Sandwich

 

Dinner: Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole

 

Observations: I got a little nutty with the nuts. There’s nothing wrong with nuts. I just need to space’em out. The most notable observation is that I was starving by 2:00 pm. Which reminds me, I ate six olives and six almonds pre-workout [not pictured]. Nutty with the nuts, I tell ya. I was lethargic today, but I think that had more to do with the gluttony of the past two weeks rather than what I did today. And I had freaky dreams last night that there is a secret passage way into my bedroom and people entered at their own will. Keep your Freudian analysis to yourself, please.

Oh yeah, and Move More, almost forgot the second half of the master resolution. The schedule is simple:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday – Morning workout to a DVD {probably freakin’ Jillian Michaels} and then an afternoon three mile walk/run combo [hopefully leaning heavier on the run].

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday – Afternoon Bodypump class followed by cycling.

Sunday is a rest day.

I’d like to fit in yoga three times a week, but I’m not sure when. I know you are going to tell me Tuesday and Thursday morning, but I’m not willing to commit to 5 a.m. wake-up calls five days a week yet.

So here’s to being better, stronger, faster, my friends. May 2012 treat you well.

 

I Choose To Be Awesome. October 24, 2011

Filed under: 5K,Exercise Follies — Teri @ 10:26 pm

 

I’ve been slack on my race reports, so I thought I would do a mid-season rundown. I know y’all have me on your fantasy 5K teams and are dying to know how I’m doing. The operative word is “doing.” I’m there. I’m running. It’s not fast, nor pretty, but it’s happening. This morning someone asked me how I did at the 5K this weekend. Because I’m always self depreciating, I hesitated before I answered. The person didn’t wait. She’s said, “Did you finish?” What? Heck yeah, I finished, Sister. Sheesh. Actually, it came out more like, “Well, yeah.” She then patted me on my shoulder and told me that was all that mattered. I was stunned. She was judging me. She saw a short, pudgy girl that couldn’t possibly make it three point one miles. I was too deflated to be offended. I could actually hear the kinks is my armor creaking in my head. But at that moment, at that very moment, someone else walked up. “I saw you running this weekend!” You did? “You were about the finish the race and I said, ‘Look at her go!’ That was awesome.” So did I finish? Yeah. And reportedly it was awesome. I’ll take that moment with me to my next race and beyond.

 

Run Wild 5K at the NC Zoo
August 20, 2011
Cause: Not sure, really. Something for the zookeepers.
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Yes — though the color wasn’t great. Nice graphic though.
Would I run it again? Yes. It was a cool concept even if there were some logistical hiccups in the race plan. Would have been nice if the animals were out to cheer us on [from their enclosures, of course].

 

Holden Uganda Run for Water 5K
August 27, 2011
Cause: Building water wells in Africa
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Nope, not really. The shirt was thin and cheap. It’s in the Salvation Army pile.
Would I run it again? Technically, I didn’t run it in the first place. It was hurricaned out. But I probably won’t sign up again next year. The race route was in a gated community. If you didn’t live there, you had to take a shuttle into the race area. Really, people, open your fancy smanchy community for the charity 5K.

 

Tour de Lila
September 3, 2011
Cause: Fundraiser to buy educational equipment for a special needs child.
Would I ride 15 miles for this shirt? Nope. Race organizers, thin and cheap is not the way to get the word out about your organization.
Would I ride it again? Doubtful. It was billed as a family bike ride, but really only hardcore cyclists rode. And there I was with my 20 year old mountain bike. I felt like I was driving an Indy race in a 1960 VW bug.

 

Crimestoppers Run for Justice 5K
September 10, 2011
Cause: Humiliation and torment. [I kid.] Crimestoppers was the cause de jour.
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Eh, no. But they did hand out chocolate milk at the end — and anyone that knows me knows I love chocolate milk.
Would I run it again? Nope. Those people scared me. I originally signed up for the Moravian Festival 5K. They gave out chicken pie and sugar cookies at the finish line. I switched to the Crimestoppers race to run with my sister. She felt obligated to support the race because my brother-in-law is part of the judicial system. Next year I’m eating chicken pie at the finish line with the peace loving Moravians, dang it.

 

Moonlight Madness 5K
September 16, 2011
Cause: Local charities [See how I bluffed because I can’t remember?]
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Absolutely — the graphic glows in the dark!
Would I run it again? I would. It’s a night race to kick-off Rock the Block weekend in Winston. It was a good time. And I get a gold star because I ran for help when a racer fell and broke her arm. The pizza/beer distribution at the end was a mess, but I’m not above cutting in line to steal pizza. I am a hero, after all.

 

Double Header: Poplar Grove Plantation 5K Autumn Fun Run & Pink Shamrock 5K
September 24, 2011
Cause: Historic preservation and breast cancer research
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Yes, and here’s way: My cousin passed away a few days before these races. When I wrote that I couldn’t attend the races because I would be at a family funeral, both race directors mailed my packets to me. I appreciated their consideration.
Would I run it again? Absolutely. If for no other reason than I like to support nice people.

 

Women’s Only 5K
October 1, 2011
Cause: Breast Cancer Research
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Yes. It’s cute. It’s thick cotton. I love it!
Would I run it again? Definitely. The feel good race of the year. It was a great atmosphere. It was very pink. The lady that ran in front of me was apparently a cancer patient because all of the hospital race volunteers knew her name. She had a note pinned to her hat that said, “Suck it up, Mary. YOU CAN DO THIS.” After the brutality of the Crimestoppers race, it was nice to see wide scale encouragement. It’s amazing we didn’t all skip across the finish line holding hands.

 

Ardmore 5K
October 8, 2011
Cause: Second Harvest Food Bank
Would I run three miles for this shirt? Runner down. I didn’t run this race because I was sick with a nasty head cold. My sister picked up my packet, but I haven’t seen the shirt. I hear it’s long sleeve — exciting!
Would I run it again? I can see this being a yearly run to do with my sister.

 

Trick or Treat Trot 5K
October 15, 2011
Cause: Communities in Schools
Would I run three miles for this shirt? It’s hunter orange, but I’ll still say yes.
Would I run it again? Of course. I’ll take any opportunity for a trip to Wilmington. The race coordination was a bit unorganized, but they pulled it together for a fun race. My fastest finish ever.

 

Reading Rocks! 5K
October 22, 2011
Cause: Literacy programs
Would I run three miles for this shirt? I like it. It’s much better than the shirt they sold to the kids for the walk-a-thon.
Would I run it again? It would be silly not to run it again. The course is in my neighborhood. And I get credit for attending a school event without the bother of being there all day. Only drawback: A 7 a.m. start in the dark. Silver lining: Running under a crescent moon.

 

Because we’re only mid-way through the autumn race season, here’s the rest of the schedule:
October 29: Halloween Hustle 5K
October 30: Monster Dash 5K
November 5: Heels for Hope 5K
November 11: Joint Special Operations 5K
November 12: Run United 5K
November 19: Eve Carson Memorial 5K
November 24: Turkey Strut 5K
December 3: Mistletoe Run 5K
December 10: Twinkle Toes 5K
December 17: Ryan’s Reindeer Run 5K

 

And I’m off…